New Delhi: The Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi is facing a probe by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), a nodal agency under the Union Health Ministry, for its alleged involvement in a ‘cash-for-kidney’ racket that targets poor people from Myanmar. The NOTTO has filed a complaint against the hospital and asked the Delhi government to investigate the matter and take action as per the law.
The NOTTO Director Dr. Anil Kumar has written a letter to the Principal Secretary (Health) of the Delhi government, requesting him to conduct an inquiry into the allegations, initiate appropriate action as per the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA) 1994 and submit the action report within a week.
The complaint was filed after a joint investigation by a leading private media and a well-known newspaper exposed the alleged international organ trafficking network, in which the Apollo Hospitals chain is accused of facilitating illegal kidney transplants between donors from Myanmar and recipients from India and other countries. The investigation revealed that the donors from Myanmar were lured by middlemen to sell their kidneys for money and were brought to India on tourist visas. The hospital allegedly forged the documents to show that the donors and recipients were related and obtained approval from the authorization committee.
The Apollo Hospitals group strongly denied the allegations on Tuesday, December 5, calling them “completely false, misinformed, and misleading”. The group claimed that it follows a strict protocol for organ transplants and adheres to the guidelines of the THOTA 1994 and the NOTTO. The group also said that it has a zero-tolerance policy towards any unethical practices and that it will cooperate with the authorities in the investigation.